Class Notes on Sacred History, Volume 1
J. W. McGarvey (1893)
Professor of Sacred History in the College of the Bible,
Kentucky University.

Volume I: The Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, Ruth and Job

Genesis (outline)
Part 1
Part 2-3
Part 4 & Reviews
Exodus (outline)
Part 1
Part 2-4 & Reviews
Leviticus (outline) Numbers (outline)
Deuteronomy (outline) Joshua (outline)
Judges (outline) Ruth (outline)
Job (outline)  
The Law of Moses (outline)
Part 1-3
Part 4
About the Electronic Edition
Addenda and Corrigenda


      When the author in the year 1865 commenced teaching Sacred History, he knew of no method previously employed by which the best results could be secured. It was his judgment that the true method must be one which would keep the student's eye fixed upon the Sacred Text, and cause him, while learning the contents thereof, to learn them in the form and connections in which they are presented by the inspired penmen; and he felt his way as best he could in devised a method. By persevering efforts, he finally wrought out the method indicated by the syllabus printed in this Volume. And after the same had gone through many revisions in manuscript, and had been several times rewritten throughout, he concluded that it had reached such a stage of completeness as would justify putting it in print.

      His method hitherto has been, to write on the blackboard the syllabus of each lecture as it was delivered, reciting the text by paragraphs, and answering the questions propounded except such as the student should be able to answer without aid. This syllabus was copied by the students, and they made such additional notes on the questions discussed as each thought needful. In the daily examinations they are required to recite the text, at least in substance, and to answer the questions written. Other questions which may test their knowledge of the subject are also frequently propounded. The printed form, as will be seen at a glance, saved both professor and student much of this writing while the blank right hand page furnishes space opposite the questions for such brief notes as the student may need to aid his memory.

      It is well known that the chapters and verses of our printed Bibles fail to point out the natural divisions of the subject-matter; [v] and as it is essential to the proper apprehension of the plan on which any book is constructed, to observe all of its natural divisions, I have marked these by distributing the larger books into their Parts, and all into their sections and paragraphs, with headings to indicate their leading subjects. This method, while enabling the student to see the plan of every book, helps him also to remember its contents.

      These notes are intended for beginners in the systematic study of the Bible, and consequently many questions of criticism which are now warmly debated, are purposely omitted. It is idle, and it is often injurious, to introduce to young men the more recondite questions in either textual or higher criticism, until after they have laid the foundation for such studies in a general knowledge of the whole Bible and in an advanced degree of mental training. In the College of the Bible the study of such questions is reserved to the Senior year when the student is better prepared for them.

      It was the conviction of those who founded the College of the Bible, and it is that of its present managers, that a thorough Biblical education must have its foundation laid in a general knowledge of Sacred History. Until the student is acquainted with the facts recorded in the Scriptures, he cannot be well prepared to study the writings of any prophet or psalmist, or the epistles of any apostle. Much less can he be prepared for the studies which pass under the titles, Systematic Theology, and Biblical Theology. Facts lie at the basis of all true generalizations; and without a knowledge of the former there can be no certainty in the latter. For this reason the course of Sacred History which the author of these notes has in charge, covers all of the historical books of the Bible, and all of the historical matter in the other books; and the time devoted to its three and a half years of daily recitations, represented by the four volumes of these notes. The experience of nearly a third of a century has steadily confirmed us in our former conviction; and as the knowledge in question can unquestionably be acquired more easily and rapidly by the use of the English Bible, than by the use of the Hebrew and the Greek, even when the students are proficient in the latter tongues, the English Bible is the one and only text book in this department.

      Should any teacher of Sacred History, whose method is more thorough than my own, or, for want of time, less thorough, [vi] wish to save himself some labor by using these notes, I suggest to him, that in the former instance the wide spaces between the printed lines admit the insertion of additional questions; and that in the latter he may make such omissions as will bring the work within his more limited time. I trust that these notes will be used by many of my former students in keeping fresh their remembrance of Sacred History, and that many who have never enjoyed class-room instruction by their use will employ them in their studies. The latter will find the answers to the questions by their own diligent study of the Sacred Text, together with the judicious use of Commentaries.

Lexington, Ky., September, 1893. [vii]

--- TO ---
Most of Whom Are Living Lights in the World,
While Some Have Been Removed to
These Printed Notes,
Which Will Awaken Pleasant Memories in the Minds of All,
Are Lovingly Inscribed by Their Former


      This electronic edition of J. W. McGarvey's Class Notes on Sacred History has been prepared from copies of the books obtained from Philipps Memorial Library, Bethany College (Volumes I, II, IV) and the Disciples of Christ Historical Society (Volume III). The text was transcribed and formatted between December 1995 and May 1996; it was released into the public domain in 1996 as note files for the Online Bible. Archives of the files are available at the Bible Foundation e-Texts Library. The first three volumes are of the third edition; as I have not yet been able to locate that edition for the fourth volume, the first edition has been used.

      In the printed text, the questions (and answers) are presented in paragraph form; in the electronic version, they are presented in bulleted lists to facilitate reading. Pagination in the electronic version has been represented by placing the page number in brackets following the last complete word on the printed page. Inconsistencies in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and typography have been retained; however, corrections for misspellings and other accidental corruptions have been offered. Emendations are detailed in a critical apparatus.

      Throughout, the citations to "Lands of the Bible" and "L. of B." refer J. W. McGarvey's Lands of the Bible: A Geographical and Topographical Description of Palestine, with Letters of Travel in Egypt, Syria, Asia Minor, and Greece (St. Louis: John Burns, 1880; Cincinnati: Standard Publishing, 1880; Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1881; Louisville: Guide Printing and Publishing Company, 1890).

      Addenda and corrigenda are earnestly solicited.

Ernie Stefanik
373 Wilson Street
Derry, PA 15627-9770

Revised 15 June 1997.
Updated 14 March 1999.

      The following apparatus details the additions and corrections made in the transcription of J. W. McGarvey's Class Notes on Sacred History, Volume I.
 Page       Printed Text [ Electronic Text
 p. 1:      Jno. i. 1-3, 14. [ Jno. 1:1-3, 13.
 p. 3:      4, 20, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31. [ 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31.
            making man? [ making man.
 p. 5:      sword"? 7. [ sword"? Heb. i. 7.
 p. 17:     Abimelech. 23-34. [ Abimelech. 22-34.

 p. 47:     Egypt, II, [ Egypt, II.
 p. 48:     Heb. ix 23. [ Heb. ix. 23.
 p. 49:     letting Irael [ letting Israel
 p. 55:     Repeated.. [ Repeated.
 p. 58:     xii. 24-27.] [ xi. 24-27.]
 p. 59:     xii 6, 12. [ xii. 6, 12.


 p. 79:     ix. 1-14. [ ix. 1-x. 10.
 p. 83:     memorial? 4. [ memorial? 40.
 p. 84:     deaths of § IV. [ deaths of § IV?
 p. 85:     Iye-abarim? [ Ije-abarim?
 p. 88:     enchant ments"? [ enchantments"?

 p. 94:     i. 1-vi. 13. [ i. 1-vi. 43.

 The Law of Moses
 p. 102:    "wave offering", [ "wave offering,"
 p. 104:    Lewed [ Lewd
 p. 106:    Ex. xxiii. 15-17? [ Ex. xxiii. 15-17;
 p. 112:    unto Molech"? [ "unto Molech"?
 p. 116:    Ruth, v. 1-12. [ Ruth, iv. 1-12.
 p. 117:    § THE GENERAL [ § I. THE GENERAL
 p. 118:    Ex xxiii. 10, 11. [ Ex. xxiii. 10, 11.
            after wards observed? [ afterwards observed?
           3. The Re-enactment. [ 2. The Re-enactment.
 p. 122:    Num. xxv. 16-25. [ Num. xxxv. 16-25.
 p. 123:    Deut. xx. 1-29; [ Deut. xx. 1-20;

 p. 129:    3. The Inheritance [ 2. The Inheritance
 p. 130:    came Exphraim [ came Ephraim
            Jerusalem, 63; xx. 12. [ Jerusalem, 63.
 p. 131:    Isaachar on east? [ Issachar on east?
           2. Benjamin's Lot. [ 2. The Lot of Benjamin.
            [twenty-six.] [ [Twenty-six.]
           xix. 1 9. [ xix. 1-9.
 p. 132:    Galeb's claim [ Caleb's claim
            xii. 1-34. [ xxii. 1-34.
 p. 135:    What lead to [ What led to

 p. 138:    ii 1-5. [ ii. 1-5.
            i. 1-iii.11. [ iii. 7-11.
           groves is, [ groves is,
 p. 139:    Zebulum? [ Zebulun?
 p. 143:    xiv 1-9 [ xiv. 1-9.
 p. 146:    §§ I.-III. HISTORY OF THE JUDGES.
               [ HISTORY OF THE JUDGES.
            Who were the first [ §§ I.-III. Who were the first

 p. 154:    v 3-7. [ v. 3-7.
 p. 157:    c. Job's age [ (c.) Job's age

Top of Page